Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 3, Issue 26;   June 25, 2003: When You Travel Alone

When You Travel Alone

by

Last updated: August 8, 2018

Many of us travel as a part of our jobs, and some of us spend a fair amount of that time traveling solo. Here are some tips for enlivening that time alone while you're traveling for work.

As her voice grew louder, and her tone more stern, the gate agent got my attention. I was sitting in a freshly emptied airport departure lounge while on layover, listening to her deal with a travel-challenged passenger.

"This isn't your flight. You're two hours early. Come back later," she exasperated.

An airport ticket counterThe passenger said something I couldn't hear, and the gate agent said, loudly, "No, you're in a different time zone now. Come back later."

I turned, and saw the passenger pick up her bag and leave. So I caught the agent's attention and said, "Can you tell me what year it is?"

Anger came to her face. She stepped out from behind the counter, walked rapidly towards me and as her grimace turned to a smile, she playfully slapped my shoulder.

"You…"

"Gotcha," I said.

"You did! But it's my first day back from vacation…"

Fun is very important, especially at airports. When we travel for work, feelings of loneliness can make trips burdensome. Finding fun, amusement, or connection can help. Here are some ideas.

Fun is very important,
especially at airports
Do something unusual
Whether it's an architecture tour or a nap, planning ahead helps. But sometimes only the locals know the real gems. Get suggestions from hotel staff — and not just the concierge.
Bring portable activities
Many bring reading, but consider alternatives: puzzle books, a harmonica, knitting, even your bills or taxes.
Find group activities
Perhaps an organization you belong to has a chapter at your destination. Attend a meeting. Check out houses of worship — they might have a social event.
Friends and colleagues
Contact people you know who live near your destination, or who might be there when you are. Find out if they know anyone else there. Expand your network and have fun doing it.
Let go of the home office
Learn how not to fret about what's happening back there. Delegate authority — really. Limit contact with the people in charge while you're away.
Stay in touch with loved ones
Call home often. Tell them you miss them and feel the love. If you're away for a while, consider a videoconference with your family. Use the company conference facility or a public facility such as an incubator.
Live well
To stay in top condition, treat yourself right. Don't skimp on lodgings, especially if you're away for a while. Find out in advance about exercise facilities.
Eat right for you
Restaurants tend to offer food that's memorable, which means it's often very different from your normal fare. Instead, keep to your usual diet as much as possible.
Bring small things from home
Bring your slippers or a favorite T-shirt for relaxing. Read your hometown paper or listen to hometown radio on line.

Maybe you're reading this on a trip. What can you do differently right now? Go to top Top  Next issue: Tornado Warning  Next Issue

Rick BrennerThe article you've been reading is an archived issue of Point Lookout, my weekly newsletter. I've been publishing it since January, 2001, free to all subscribers, over the Web, and via RSS. You can help keep it free by donating either as an individual or as an organization. You'll receive in return my sincere thanks — and the comfort of knowing that you've helped to propagate insights and perspectives that can help make our workplaces a little more human-friendly. More

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.

Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.

Related articles

More articles on Emotions at Work:

Hot and cold faucetsHot and Cold Running People
Do you consider yourself a body linguist? Can you tell what people are thinking just by looking at gestures and postures? Think again. Body language is much more complex and ambiguous than many would have us believe.
Bull Elk Antler Sparring for Dominance in their herdBelieve It or Else
When we use threats and intimidation to win debates or agreement, we lay a flimsy foundation for future action. Using fear may win the point, but little more.
Circular reasoningBegging the Question
Begging the question is a common, usually undetected, rhetorical fallacy. It leads to unsupported conclusions and painful places we just can't live with. What can we do when it happens?
Roasted chestnuts. Can you smell their aroma?Making Memories to Cherish
We all have cherished memories — lovely moments we can replay whenever we want to feel happy. How would you like to have a lot more of them?
A knot known as the Flemish BendHelp for Finding Help
When we find ourselves at a loss for finding a good path forward, and we feel overwhelmed by events, support can make things easier. But seeking support is difficult for some. Why is that?

See also Emotions at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

Delicate Arch, a 60-foot tall (18 m) freestanding natural archComing November 20: Paid-Time-Off Risks
Associated with the trend to a single pool of paid time off from separate categories for vacation, sick time, and personal days are what might be called paid-time-off risks. If your team must meet customer expectations or a schedule of deliverables, managing paid-time-off risks can be important. Available here and by RSS on November 20.
What an implicit interrogation can look likeAnd on November 27: Implicit Interrogations
Investigations at work can begin with implicit interrogations — implicit because they're unannounced and unacknowledged. The goal is to determine what people did or knew without revealing that an investigation is underway. When asked, those conducting these interrogations often deny they're doing it. What's the nature of implicit interrogations? Available here and by RSS on November 27.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenmhXARWRMUvVyOdHlner@ChacxgDmtwOKrxnripPCoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

Get the ebook!

Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:

Reprinting this article

Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info

Public seminars

The Race to the South Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers

On 14The Race
to the Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough, but to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. Lessons abound. Read more about this program.

Here's a date for this program:

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power

Many The
Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at Twitter, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented OrganizationsAre your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around.
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
Reader Comments About My Newsletter
A sampling:
  • Your stuff is brilliant! Thank you!
  • You and Scott Adams both secretly work here, right?
  • I really enjoy my weekly newsletters. I appreciate the quick read.
  • A sort of Dr. Phil for Management!
  • …extremely accurate, inspiring and applicable to day-to-day … invaluable.
  • More
101 Tips for Managing ConflictFed up with tense, explosive meetings? Are you the target of a bully? Learn how to make peace with conflict.
Ebooks, booklets and tip books on project management, conflict, writing email, effective meetings and more.
Comprehensive collection of all e-books and e-bookletsSave a bundle and even more important save time! Order the Combo Package and download all ebooks and tips books at once.
If your teams don't yet consistently achieve state-of-the-art teamwork, check out this catalog. Help is just a few clicks/taps away!